ULTRALIFE CORPORATION

Maybe you could sum up Ultralife's business model as PC, as in power and communications, that is. The company's main business is the design and manufacture of rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries. Accounting for about a quarter of sales, its Communications Systems Division provides such products as amplified speakers and cable assemblies. Ultralife sells its products around the world to OEMs, distributors, and retailers. The company also sells directly to the US and foreign defense departments. Military sales (both directly and indirectly) account for about 50% of Ultralife's revenues.

Geographic Reach

Ultralife has operations in North America, Europe, and Asia (China and India). The company has offices, warehouses, and manufacturing locations in China, India, and the UK. Domestic offices reside in Florida, California, Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, and Texas. The US accounts for nearly 60% of total sales.

Operations

The Battery and Energy Products segment, nearly 70% of sales, makes lithium-manganese dioxide non-rechargeable batteries (to be discarded when discharged), including 9-volt, HIRate cylindrical, and Thin Cell, for such applications as smoke alarms, intensive care devices, radios, automotive telematics, night-vision devices, and thermal imaging equipment. The segment also makes lithium ion rechargeable batteries and charging systems for communications, medical, and portable electronic applications.

Supporting military communications, Communication Systems products are marketed under the McDowell Research and AMTI brands. To serve the demanding needs of both the US and approved foreign militaries, the Communication Systems' products are made to withstand severe environments.

Sales and Marketing

Ultralife targets government, defense, and commercial customers across the globe. It sells its products worldwide through a variety of trade channels, including original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), industrial and defense supply distributors, and directly to US and international defense departments. The company also distributes some of its products through domestic and international distributors and retailers. Its sales are generated primarily from customer purchase orders.

Financial Performance

Ultralife's balance sheet has been moving in the wrong direction, with revenues falling sharply the last three years. Revenues dipped 22% from $102 million in 2012 to $79 million in 2013. Mainly due to high operating and research expenses, the company has suffered five straight years of net losses, although the losses have been shrinking.

The declines for 2013 were due to lower government and defense sales resulting from budget and sequestration reductions. Battery and Energy Products declined due to the continued slowdown within the US government and defense order rate for rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries and charger systems. Ultralife was also affected by lower sales of 9-volt batteries, while its Communications Systems revenues decreased due to the government furloughs and shutdown.

The company saw a huge drop in operating cash flow in 2012 followed by growth in 2013. The operating cash flow increased by $2 million in 2013 due to a decline in net loss and an increase in cash generated by accounts receivable.

Strategy

Battery & Energy Products' strategy includes alliances with the OEMs and government entities who buy its products. The segment's sales and technical staff seek out feedback from such customers for product development. More generally the company touts such advantages of its lithium batteries as lighter weight and a longer shelf life.

In an operational initiative, the segment has been transferring a large part of its 9-volt battery making operations from its New York plant to a facility in Shenzhen, China. The Communication Systems segment's former RedBlack Communications unit, which marketed mobile, modular, and fixed-site communication and electronics systems, was sold off in 2013 after struggling with operating losses.

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ULTRALIFE CORPORATION


2000 Technology Pkwy
Newark, NY 14513-2175
Phone: 1 (315) 332-7100
Fax: 1 (315) 3317800
www.ulbi.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: ULBI,
  • Stock Exchange: , NASDAQ
  • Chief Financial Officer; Treasurer: Philip Fain
  • President; Chief Executive Officer; Director: Michael Popielec
  • Chairman: Bradford Whitmore

Major Office Locations

  • Newark, NY

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Health Service Administrator

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